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Sunday, February 19, 2017
No. 6/5 UCLA Basketball Downs USC, 102-70
feb 18, 2017 | UCLA MEN'S BASKETBALL
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LOS ANGELES – Bryce Alford scored a game-leading 26 points and had six assists as No. 5 UCLA cruised past crosstown rival USC, 102-70, before a sellout crowd of 13,659 in Pauley Pavilion on Saturday night.
UCLA (24-3, 11-3) extended its win streak to five games and snapped a four-game losing skid to the Trojans (21-6, 8-6).
Alford was one of five Bruins to score in double figures. Thomas Welsh had his seventh double-double of the year, totaling 16 points and a career-high tying 16 rebounds. TJ Leaf had 19 points, Lonzo Ball totaled 15 and Isaac Hamilton finished with 13.
Ball came just two rebounds and two assists shy of a triple-double, totaling 15 points, eight rebounds and eight assists.
USC's Bennie Boatwright scored a team-leading 20 points and had 10 rebounds, while classmate Chimezie Metu registered 14 points. Boatwright and Metu were the only USC players to score in double figures.
The Bruins shot 53.8 percent from the field and outscored the visiting Trojans, 56-36, in the second half to secure a 32-point victory.
UCLA led by double digits throughout the early going in the second half, but USC reduced the Bruins' margin to just nine – 67-58 – after a pair of free throws by Metu with 10:42 to play. From that point, UCLA used a 14-3 scoring run to lead by 20 points – 81-61 – at the 6:04 mark.
Alford scored 17 of his game-leading 26 points in the second half. His 26-point effort pushed his career scoring total to 1,802 points, which currently ranks No. 7 on UCLA's all-time scoring list, just 44 points behind Ed O'Bannon (1,846), who ranks sixth all-time.
The Bruins totaled 23 assists and committed just 10 turnovers, marking the 17th time in 27 games this season in which UCLA has logged at least 20 assists.
UCLA made 10 of 20 attempts from three-point range. Alford led the way from beyond the arc, connecting on 5 of 9 three-point shots. Leaf was 2-for-3 from downtown, while three other Bruins – Ball, Hamilton and Aaron Holiday – each had one three-pointer.
The Bruins have just four regular-season games remaining this season. UCLA will return to action at Arizona State on Thursday, Feb. 23, playing at ASU's Wells Fargo Arena. Game time is 6 p.m. PT (7 p.m. MT). UCLA's game at Arizona State will be nationally televised on ESPN2.
Game Notes: UCLA's record improved to 5-0 in the month of February … the Bruins will close the season with games at Arizona State (Feb. 23) and Arizona (Feb. 25) before consecutive home games versus Washington (March 1) and Washington State (March 4) … UCLA improved its home record to 14-1 with Saturday night's victory … UCLA has four players – Lonzo Ball, Bryce Alford, Aaron Holiday and Isaac Hamilton – who have each recorded at least 200 career assists.